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Article

Resume Anxiety? Just tell your story.

By Nicki Gilmour

Nicki GilmourMany people, despite having amazing experience in their career, have anxiety when writing their resume.

Especially if they have not had the resume out in circulation for a while or have always gotten a job via their network.

There are certainly rules of the road and I enjoyed this article on the practical things to do when prepping your resume. But, the bigger issue is why is putting together your resume such a big deal for most of us? Or, rather, a task we would really like to put off until we really have to do it?

I think the intense focus I have observed in my coaching clients who are thinking of moving jobs, and therefore have the question of a resume update, is very much linked with having to feel perfect. It makes sense to feel vulnerable to rejection as we put ourselves out there after many years at a firm. And so many of us reading this are overachievers, but some of us are what is known as ‘insecure overachievers’ whereby we strive for the best for our own validation and we are very hard on ourselves. We can go overboard when we just need to step back and think “What is my career narrative? What do I do well that I want to continue doing?” and finally “What context is provided for this next potential job that I can take my vast experience and apply specifically to it in a version?”

Ultimately, the person reviewing your resume probably doesn’t know you well. Make it easy for them to understand the story so far.

Taking my own advice to show you how we fall in the pitfalls.

As a coach when I am often asked to review my client’s resume to which I say:

“I am happy to do that with the caveat that that I am not a resume expert.”

Now, the coach here has to take her own medicine as I just did and continue to do is what so many really talented women do, negate actual experience with self-deprecating self talk de-authorizing ourselves from the job.

What did I do? I had a thought that led to a familiar personal (and cultural, hello Brits!) behavior.

The truth is, I am actually pretty qualified to look at resumes as I have seen many since I was head of efinancialcareers back in the early job board days and launched the product from one job posting and one resume up. I have run start ups and hired probably 100 people myself with a resume as the starting point. I am an executive coach who has seen probably 100 resumes this year!

See how I just put out to the world that somehow I could not help them with this simple task? I did not think about what I could do in terms of what I have done quite formally and informally for the past fifteen years.

How does this play out in your story? Has your brain gotten so used to a task that you have told yourself that somehow something you do very often and well, isn’t a skill? The narrative we tell the world can be very different to what we have actually got experience in. We think of who we are through the lens of the narrative we have been telling ourselves very often.

The coaching process will be a distilling process for you to know who you are, what you want, what mental models are stopping you such as confidence, avoidance, fear of rejection or being seen as x, y or z only as examples.

You are in charge of your story and coaching can help figure out how to tell it. You have the answers, let me bring the questions.

If you are interested in a free exploratory chat to understand if coaching is for you, and to find out more about how Nicki works ( methodology, price etc) and to see if there is a fit, book a call here.